Recognizing Melanie Mungalsingh as an exceptional student teacher

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Melanie Mungalsingh's headshot
The School of Optometry & Vision Science is proud to announce that student Melanie Mungalsingh has been awarded the 2021 Amit and Menna Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

Melanie Mungalsingh, a PhD student, is recognized by her students and colleagues for her exceptional teaching skills, accessibility, approachability, and problem-solving abilities. Beloved by her students, one remarked that Mungalsingh “...went the extra mile to make sure she provided the best guidance, even if it meant researching problems on her own and getting back to students outside of work hours.” As well, several of her students pointed out that she has always made herself available and accessible to answer questions about campus life or confusing scientific concepts outside scheduled labs and office hours. Students have truly felt supported by Mungalsingh.

Colleagues also appreciate her dedication to teaching. “Mungalsingh presents material in a variety of ways and adapts her language as needed to ensure students understand the concepts that she is enforcing,” said a fellow colleague. 

"I was surprised to learn that I was the recipient of the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Student, since I understand that it is a very competitive University-wide award," said Mungalsingh. "I am truly honoured and appreciative. This award will further encourage me to continue to do what I really enjoy and love."

"The University of Waterloo has a distinguished and long-standing reputation of academic excellence, and the School of Optometry and Vision Science is dedicated to upholding such standards. This award shows that hard work and diligence on the part of both the educator and the student pays off. I am incredibly proud to be a part of the School and work with its amazing students," said Mungalsingh.


Mungalsingh continues to build her teaching portfolio by taking part in the Fundamentals of University Teaching Certificate with the Centre for Teaching Excellence. She also earned a Certificate in Online Course Facilitation at the University of Waterloo to learn how to deliver engaging online courses.

Mungalsingh has been a lab instructor for OPTOM 337, OPTOM 387, OPTOM 255, OPTOM 152, BIOL 130, BIOL 273, BIOL 373.

The Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student for 2021 has been presented to four student teachers this year. Jeff Casello, Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, and chair of the selection committee provided the report to the University's Senate on Monday, March 22, 2021.

Congratulations Melanie!